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The AirPods Pro 2 (2022) are official: release date, price, design, features and more

AirPods Pro (2022)
(Image credit: Apple)

The AirPods Pro 2 (2022) are official. Apple's flagship 2nd Generation noise-cancelling earbuds were revealed to the world on the 7th September 2022 at the company's 'Far Out' event alongside a new family of iPhone 14 smartphones.

The originals launched way back in October 2019 so an update has been on the cards for a while. And the new pair pulls no punches, powered by a brand new H2 chip, and promising better ANC, audio quality and battery life. There's even a smattering of new features including touch controls and a revamped charging case that now has its own built-in speaker

Ahead of our review, here's everything you need to know about Apple's all-singing, all-dancing wireless earbuds...

Apple AirPods Pro 2 (2022) release date

Apple AirPods Pro 2

(Image credit: Apple)

Thankfully, we don't have too long to wait before we can get our hands on a pair of the new earbuds. AirPods Pro 2 (2022) pre-orders started on the 9th September and at the 'Far Out' event Apple revealed that the headphones will start shipping on the 23rd September.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 (2022) price

The AirPods Pro (2022) will be launching at £249 / $249 / AU$399 like the original AirPods Pro did back in 2019 when they first went on sale.

This keeps Apple's premium earbuds in the firing line of other heavyweight rivals like the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 and the Sony WF-1000XM4 that both in the same ballpark.

Like the original AirPods Pro, the AirPods Pro (2022) are available in white.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 (2022) design

AirPods Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Apple)

While many rumors suggested that the AirPods Pro (2022) would get a radical redesign, opting for a rounded, stemless look like the Samsung Galaxy Buds+, the AirPods Pro (2022) will instead be coming with about the same design, look, and feel as the original AirPods Pro. 

The charging case of AirPods Pro (2022), though, will sport a redesign, this time being a bit taller and narrower than the original case. It's also getting a speaker added to the bottom of the case, a lanyard, and you can charge your AirPods Pro (2022) with an Apple Watch or MagSafe charger.

The speculation goes that Apple wasn’t able to pack in all the tech that goes in the AirPods Pro (2022) into a smaller package, opting instead to retain the now-classic design and focus on delivering as many features as possible. And yes, the new AirPods are still using Lightning rather than USB-C, though it continues to be rumored that the USB-C future of Apple products is inevitable.

However, while the basic design is roughly the same, the AirPods Pro 2 will be bringing a host of new features and upgrades to the table, nonetheless.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 (2022) features

AirPods Pro (2022)

(Image credit: Apple)

AirPods Pro have been known for excellent ANC, so the world has been expecting upgrades in that arena with an AirPods Pro (2022). Thankfully, Apple has delivered, up to double the effectiveness of its ANC with the new AirPods Pro, thanks to its new H2 chip and optimized placement of acoustic vents and mics.

Apple's latest AirPods Pro are also getting a brand-new low distortion driver and a custom amplifier to power it in order to deliver "even more detail and clarity across a wider range of frequencies." According to Apple, these are the "most advanced AirPods yet."

With AirPods Pro (2022) you'll also now have touch controls on the stems of your AirPods, allowing you to control music playback as well as take calls with a simple swipe. The new AirPods Pro are also getting a hefty battery life upgrade with the new AirPods able to last 6 hours from a single charge and up to 30 hours with the charging case. This is a 6-hour increase from the original. The original AirPods Pro could last for 5 hours on a single charge, while the new AirPods Pro can last 6 hours on a single charge.

AirPods Pro (2022) have improvements to spatial audio, too, in the form of personalized spatial audio. Everyone will be able to go in and create a personalized spatial audio profile fit for their own unique ear to be able to offer up the best-sounding spatial experience. 

To do this, we don't know exactly how it works just yet, but according to Apple, you'll need iOS 16 or iPadOS 16 (on an Apple device with a camera) alongside the new AirPod Pros to create a custom profile, while you'll also be able to do this with a macOS Ventura computer and your buds in October. This kind of tech is likely similar to PlayStation's 3D Audio tech which has customizable spatial audio profiles.

Lastly, Apple is now providing a new XS ear tip alongside the AirPods Pro's traditional three-included ear tips for a better fit for those with smaller ears. According to Apple, a big part of the AirPods Pro (2022)'s passive noise-cancellation comes down to a great fit.

AirPods Pro 2 (2022) early verdict

It's still too early to tell how Apple's latest AirPods Pro (2022) will compare with the original, but obviously we can take an educated guess. And of course, when we get our pair, we’ll be able to give you a complete review and in-depth comparison between the new AirPods Pro and the original AirPods Pro.

Improved sound quality, ANC, and battery life are, of course, big wins for any pair of earbuds, and while internal hardware upgrades aren’t particularly exciting, they’re almost always reliable ways to improve performance. 

All told, at a glance, AirPods Pro (2022) are undoubtedly the AirPods Pro to get if you’re looking for the best wireless earbuds Apple can sell you, but the jury’s out on whether or not it’ll make sense for AirPods Pro owners to drop another £249 / $249 / AU$399 for the latest version.


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